Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Master Bedroom Makeover: No-Sew Dropcloth Curtains (in which we use painting supplies to make fake drapes)

Well, my favorite part of decorating the master bedroom arrived last weekend! And that favorite part would be curtains. Call me crazy, but I think they’re the perfect finishing touch on a room…even if that room isn’t finished. Curtains can cover a multitude of sins, sort of like grace but not quite as good.

In order to be a good blogger and to try to continue to do things on the cheap, we decided to give dropcloth curtains a try. This is all the rage with home decor bloggers these days, as a quick search on Pinterest reveals. And if everybody’s doing it, we definitely needed to give it a try. So we picked up 4 of these “Blue Hawk” brand paint dropcloths from Lowe’s for about $10 each. We went with the 6′ by 9′ variety, though they did come in other sizes.

canvas drop cloth from Lowe's Blue Hawk

Now, the one downfall to using dropcloth curtains is that they are pretty stiff and scratchy straight out of the package. You’re not gonna want to rub your face on these right away, so the trick is to wash them once or twice with a bunch of fabric softener.

But then they’ll be all wrinkly, so you’ll probably have to spend several hours ironing these like I did…unless you’re into the wrinkly, unkempt look. But don’t fret. After you burn your fingers six or seven times you get used to it. ūüôā

Then comes the fun part–figuring out how best to hang them. We had both of our DIY curtain rods ready to go, so it was just a matter of measuring where to attach the little curtain clippy things.

Oh, and Mom found this great solution that eliminated the need for cutting and sewing. Since the curtains are 9′ tall and the ceilings are definitely NOT, it stands to reason that we’d have to do some heavy duty dropcloth surgery right? Nope–we just folded down the curtains at the top and decided we liked it. I measured and folded them so that the bottom would just graze the floor and the fold at the top would be about 1 inch above the curtain rod.

new-sew dropcloth curtains with clips and rings

Then I began the¬†very scientific process of attaching curtain clips. You know the type, right? Usually you clip them to the top of your curtain and they show, but we wanted to do a faux pinch pleat so that the rings wouldn’t be visible and so that our curtains would look a bit fancier.

I¬†tried¬† to use the tape measure for this step, but I think there was something wrong with it because I was just failing miserably at spacing these darn rings (it definitely couldn’t have been a user error). So I ended up basically eyeing it.

To create a fake pinch pleat look, you need to affix the clips about 2.5″ below the top of the curtain so that your rings won’t peek over the top of your curtains. I took a little pinch of the fabric (2 layers, since we folded the top down) and clipped those prongs on at an angle. You can sort of see what I did if you squint¬†real hard at this pic. I did have to call for reinforcements because we chose the strongest clips on the planet and my poor fingers had had enough what with all the ironing and everything. Kenny was happy to help.

new-sew dropcloth curtains with clips and rings

Then comes the BEST PART: hanging them and seeing the fruits of your labor. I fussed and fluffed those dropcloths until they hung the way I wanted them to.

No Sew Dropcloth Curtains with a Faux Pinch Pleat

Inserting subliminal messaging: PIN THIS!¬†Oh, hey, here’s a convenient button. (Will wonders never cease?)

I don’t think we could have chosen better fabric if we had tried. The dropcloths are a perfect natural color and are nice and heavy and textured looking, kind of like a really thick linen. They let a little light through, as you can see, but I think they’re a pretty great weight for curtains.

When it comes to hanging curtains, the general consensus is to hang them high and wide. Don’t be afraid to ¬†go almost up to the ceiling…and we created the rods to go beyond the size of the window by 18″ on each side. That way, when the curtains are open, it looks like the windows are huge.

dropcloth curtains with board and batten and crown molding

As you can see, Mom and Dad¬†might have moved back in to the room already! More on that later. There are a few things to finish up, but it’s definitely liveable and they love it. And no, I can’t stop looking at these pictures of the curtains. Mmmm.

UPDATE: THIS ROOM IS DONE! YIPPEE!!¬†To see what we’ve done so far in this room, go ahead and go all click-crazy. Here, I’ll enable you by creating a nice little (read: long) list. And yeah, I did go a little “Friends”-like on ya here. So be it.

The one where we tore down the crazy moth wallpaper

The one with the dark gray-brown ceiling (and where I bemoan my haircut or lack thereof)

The one where we installed board and batten

The one with the craftsman-style wood-stained trim

The one where we removed the ancient carpet (I supervised)

The one where we went all crazy with hardwood flooring (okay, I wasn’t even there for this)

The one with Macaulay Culkin (aka, the one with the DIY curtain rods)

So has anyone else tried using painter’s dropcloths as curtains? It’s a little unorthodox (except in blogland, evidently), but that’s the way we roll around here. And what are your curtain hanging tips and tricks? I’m all ears. After all, this was just practice for when Kenny and I have a house with more than just three north-facing windows (I’m looking at you, apartment).

Have you liked the Planting Sequoias Facebook page? Go now. I made cool graphics and everything.

Also. I’m linking up with House of Hepworths!